All-Around Guide to CRM Testing

 Guide to CRM Testing - ScienceSoft

ScienceSoft has been providing CRM testing services for 13 years.

CRM Testing Essence

CRM testing verifies if a CRM system efficiently supports sales, marketing, and customer service workflows, is user-friendly and fully compliant with its scalability, performance, and security requirements. CRM testing usually includes functional, integration, performance, security, usability testing, data migration testing (if needed), and regression testing in the course of CRM evolution.

CRM Testing Setup Plan

A CRM testing setup plan may vary depending on the preferred CRM testing sourcing model (in-house, partial or complete outsourcing), the current SDLC stage of your CRM project, and the system’s specific requirements. Still, there are some common stages to go through.

1. CRM testing process design

Duration: Up to 2 weeks.

To ensure CRM requirements are designed in a way streamlining future testing, assign a QA manager to validate each CRM requirement is clear, measurable, and complete. The best practice is to design CRM functional and usability requirements in the form of user stories. To pave the way for efficient functional and usability testing, the best practice is to involve representatives of each CRM user group in the requirements specification design.

Design a CRM testing KPI set, which includes KPIs like tests’ execution time, test scripts’ maintainability, the number of bugs rejected by the development team, requirements not covered by test cases, the test automation rate, and others.

Consider an optimal collaboration schedule and scenarios between the CRM test and development teams. Relevant project and test management tools can streamline their communication.

2. CRM testing preparation

Your preparation for the CRM testing process will differ based on the sourcing model you opt for: in-house CRM testing or outsourced CRM testing.

2.1. Getting ready for in-house CRM testing

Duration: Up to 4 weeks.

If you plan to perform CRM testing in-house, your QA manager should design a CRM test strategy and plan the required project efforts. In line with the designed CRM testing artifacts, the QA manager gathers a test team. The QA manager may consider hiring additional testing talents to introduce optimal test automation or handle the specifics of a relevant CRM provider, if required.

Note: The longer the CRM development process is, the more viable test automation becomes.

Generally, the best practice for CRM systems (either custom or platform-based) is to automate cross-browser and data quality testing types. Besides, performance testing can’t be performed manually. As CRM applications continuously evolve after their initial rollout, an automated regression test suite should be run after each CRM software change (e.g., customization of out-of-the-box features, introduction of new custom features or integration with third-party apps).

In case of a long-term CRM development project with at least 30-40% of test automation involvement from the total test coverage, you need to assign a test automation lead to outline best-suitable test automation scenarios, design a test automation architecture, choose and configure relevant test automation tools and frameworks.

The following testing types should be present in your CRM test plan:

It comprises the majority of the CRM testing scope and checks whether all the required functions are present in the CRM solution and enable flawless workflows for each user role. With platform-based CRM solutions, it’s also important to validate that configurations and customizations don’t disrupt the application’s functioning.

Integration testing

CRM’s business value significantly relies on its data sharing with other enterprise applications like ERP, document management, financial systems, an email server, and a data warehouse. So, CRM external integration test cases should validate that data related to your existing and potential customers is complete, remains intact during data transfer, the changes introduced in one system are visualized in the connected systems, and the relevant change history is available.

This testing type checks CRM behavior under continuous and peak load conditions, measures the effects of multiple users working with CRM simultaneously: loading speed, response time, and a maximum number of users.

To ensure security of sensitive customer data, CRM testing should include vulnerability assessment, penetration testing, and role-based access control validation.

To encourage high CRM user adoption, its GUI should be convenient and logically structured. So, it’s necessary to validate the intuitive and convenient arrangement of UI elements, content layout, and the number of usage steps with regard to all user groups’ needs and established usability standards and metrics.

2.2. Vendor selection for outsourced CRM testing

Duration: Up to 12 weeks.

To choose a relevant CRM testing vendor, you should:

  • Look for vendors with QA certifications like ISTQB or CSTE, vendors offering services compliant with ISO and IEC standards.
  • Look through the vendors’ portfolios for CRM testing projects with similar prerequisites.
  • Check if the vendor has enough resources to meet your CRM application’s scale.
  • Prepare a detailed request for information (RFI) and distribute it among the shortlisted CRM testing vendors. Based on the vendors’ responses, further shortlist 3-5 providers best corresponding to your CRM testing needs.
  • Request CRM testing cost estimate and proposal from the preselected vendors to make an informed decision on CRM testing ROI.
  • Negotiate SLA and CRM testing costs and sign a contract with the chosen vendor.

3. CRM testing launch

Duration: Up to 2 weeks.

To start the CRM testing process, an outsourced or an in-house test team sets up and configures the test environment, starts to develop test cases and test scripts, prepares test data.

Note: For platform-based CRM solutions, a relevant test environment can be obtained from your CRM provider.

Talents Required for CRM Testing

QA manager

  • Helps design CRM requirements in a testable way.
  • Develops the CRM test strategy and plan with regard to the type of your CRM and its requirements.
  • Decides on test management software.
  • Manages a CRM test team, guides and regularly improves the testing process.

Test engineer

  • Analyses the CRM requirements specification to understand the needs of different CRM user groups.
  • Designs, executes, and maintains CRM test cases.
  • Reports found defects.

UX researcher

Note: As a CRM system’s usability directly influences the CRM user adoption rate and commitment level, a CRM test team should include a UX professional for 1-4 weeks.

  • Carries out interviews with the CRM user groups’ representatives to gather actual user requirements.
  • Checks the CRM UI’s prototype against user requirements and established usability standards for web and mobile apps.
  • Validates the logic of CRM UI elements’ composition, content layout, and the optimal number of usage steps for all CRM user groups.

For long-term CRM testing projects where test automation is used

Test automation architect

For 2-4 weeks, at the beginning of the project

  • Defines what test scenarios should be automated.
  • Designs the test automation architecture.
  • Selects and configures test automation tools and frameworks relevant to different CRM testing types.

Test automation engineer

  • Develops, executes, and maintains automated CRM test scripts.
  • Reports defects after analyzing the test results.
  • Regularly collaborates with the development team to improve test scripts’ granularity and maintainability.
  • Creates and maintains an automated regression test suite for continuous CRM testing within a CI/CD pipeline.

CRM Testing Sourcing Models

QA management and a test team are in-house

The option provides full control over the CRM testing process. Still, you need to make sure your test team is competent to cater to your CRM app specifics, introduce relevant test automation, and choose and configure relevant test automation frameworks, if applicable.

QA management is in-house, a test team is completely or partially external

This model can help optimize CRM testing costs via quick test team scalability and proven CRM testing skills of its members. Still, you’ll need a well-versed QA manager to design and supervise the testing process, assess the work progress of the vendor’s resources.

QA management and a test team are outsourced

This option offers a CRM testing process transparently organized, performed, and managed by a provider based on the agreed KPIs. Pay special attention to vendor selection and resolve possible communication issues between the QA team, CRM stakeholders, and an implementation team.

Frameworks Relevant for CRM Testing

Functional testing is the basis of any CRM testing, both when it’s performed once before CRM goes live and when CRM testing and development go in parallel. Here are some proven testing frameworks that may suit your CRM testing project.

Postman

Best for: Automated API testing

Highlights

  • Gartner Peer Insights Customers’ Choice 2020 for full life cycle API management.
  • Supports functional and integration API testing.
  • Enables testing before UI is developed, which suites agile CRM development projects.
  • Supports REST, SOAP, HTTP API calls and responses testing.
  • Easily integrated with popular CI/CD tools (Jenkins, Travis, GitLab, etc.).

Pricing

Open-source.

Selenium WebDriver 3.0

Best for: Automated UI web testing

Highlights

  • The most popular open-source test automation framework, according to Gartner Peer Insights.
  • Supports UI web testing in Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer/Edge, Safari, Opera.
  • Doesn’t support mobile app testing.
  • Lacks convenient reporting capabilities, so may require integrations with other testing tools, e.g., TestNG.

Pricing

Open-source.

Appium

Best for: Automated mobile app testing

Highlights

  • Supports automated functional (UI and API) testing of iOS, Android, and hybrid mobile applications and Windows desktop applications.
  • Allows testing mobile web apps in browsers: Chrome, Chromium, and a built-in "Browser" app for Android and Safari for iOS.
  • Enables code reuse between iOS, Android, and Windows test suites.
  • Lacks convenient reporting capabilities.

Pricing

Open-source.

CRM Testing Costs

Factors determining the CRM testing scope:

  • Complexity of CRM workflows (defines the number of test cases).
  • CRM type (a custom solution requires much more testing time and effort compared with a platform-based CRM).
  • Number of user roles (each role requires additional testing effort and time).
  • Number of intended users (e.g., a CRM solution with more than 50 users requires performance testing).
  • Number of third-party integrations (e.g., other enterprise software or analytical tools).
  • Usability requirements.
  • Specific security and compliance requirements (e.g., HIPAA, GLBA, SOX, GDPR).
  • The number of customizations (for platform-based CRM systems).

Cost calculation factors specific for different sourcing models:

One-time CRM testing outsourcing

  • CRM testing time based on:
    • Total number of test cases.
    • Development and maintenance efforts per test case.
  • CRM test team members’ rates (based on their experience and competence).
  • The cost of test environment and employed tools.

Continuous CRM testing outsourcing

  • CRM testing time based on:
    • Total number of test cases.
    • Development and maintenance efforts per test case.
    • Percentage of test automation.
    • Regression test coverage.
  • CRM test team members’ rates (based on their experience and competence).
  • The cost of test environment and employed tools.

In-house CRM testing

  • Fully burdened daily rate per QA professional.
  • Number of test engineers and test automation engineers (defined based on estimated CRM testing time)
  • Additional training for your test engineers, if required.
  • The cost of test environment and employed tools.

As an example, let’s take an iterative development project of a large enterprise-scale custom CRM solution (from 500 intended users) with the following characteristics:

  • 10-month long.
  • 2-week iterations with testing going in parallel.
  • 100 new test cases per iteration.
  • 60% coverage by automated tests.

The rough estimate for this testing project, including test team members’ rates, testing tools’ licenses and test environment costs, tests’ maintenance and regression testing efforts, will be $70,000.

Consider Professional CRM Testing Services

With 19 years of experience in QA consulting and 13 years in CRM delivery, ScienceSoft offers CRM testing services by QA professionals who are well-versed in CRM specifics, CRM testing best practices, efficient test automation frameworks and tools.

CRM testing consulting

To help you knowingly plan and implement a CRM testing project, ScienceSoft consultants:

  • Analyze your CRM app’s requirements and specifics.
  • Advise on an optimal sourcing model, considering the existing QA level and human resources’ skills.
  • Provide a tailored CRM testing plan.
  • Develop a tailored KPI set to regularly measure the CRM testing advance.
  • Perform analysis and mitigation of potential CRM testing issues.

Continuous CRM testing outsourcing

ScienceSoft CRM testing experts:

  • Validate smooth CRM functioning and its integration into your company’s IT environment.
  • Verify your CRM data robustness and required usability.
  • Check the CRM solution’s resilience to peak and continuous load.
  • Ascertain CRM’s undisrupted functioning after any introduced changes
  • Promptly integrate automated testing into the CI/CD pipeline (within 4 weeks).
  • Provide reusable automated regression test suites for continuous testing.

About ScienceSoft

ScienceSoft is a global IT consulting, software development, and QA company headquartered in McKinney, TX, US. Our CRM testing best practices are refined by 13-year experience in CRM solutions delivery and 19 years in QA outsourcing services, which helps us provide professional CRM testing with optimal budget, time, and test automation involvement. Being ISO 9001 and ISO 27001 certified, we rely on a mature quality management system and guarantee that cooperation with us does not pose any risks to our customers’ data security.